Family Medicine Researcher of the Year calls for mentorship of next generation

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Judith Belle Brown

In her presentation on Wednesday as Family Medicine Researcher of the Year, Judith Belle Brown, PhD, reflected on how individuals in her field have gone from being consumers to creators of knowledge over her four-decade career. And part of her message for family physicians was the need to encourage new colleagues to participate in research through mentorship.

Dr Brown noted her research career began at Western University in collaboration with interdisciplinary experts such as the legendary Dr Ian McWhinney, who at the time was developing a unit on the patient-centred clinical method. She said she was intrigued by the sorts of research questions being addressed.

“Doing research in family medicine is about action and serving as an agent of change,” Dr Brown told Family Medicine Forum attendees. “I love being a researcher in family medicine and being nurtured on a daily basis by my colleagues, learning from participants in my studies, and mentoring students.”

Part of the reward of mentorship is seeing individuals work collaboratively and engage in self-reflection as part of the process, she said.

Following a standing ovation for her talk, Dr Brown concluded: “The best research in my mind comes from the why, why not, how come, and what for from daily practice. I encourage you all to go back to your practice and share that with your residents.”